tjoff

Controllers that can manage >2TB drives

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Anyone that have read a review of a 3TB drive will be aware that there are quite a few compatibility issues. I have looked but haven't really found any real information about what controllers that support >~2TB drives or if regular controllers are as affected as motherboards seems to be.

The WD Green drives come with the HighPoint RocketRAID 620 so I'd guess that it's a safe bet when working with >2TB drives.

And I did find this post:

http://forums.storagereview.com/index.php/topic/29224-3tb-hitachi-hard-disk-deskstar-7k3000/page__st__10__p__265511entry265511

All of the new 3ware cards (10.2) code base support > 2TB drives.

* Support for SATA and SAS hard drives larger than 2 TB

http://www.lsi.com/DistributionSystem/User/AssetMgr.aspx?asset=55376

But other than that I haven't found much information about it so I thought it would be nice to have a thread dedicated to hardware that does (or doesn't work) with >2TB drives.

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Most of your modern cards won't have a problem with the AF 3TB drives, but I'm sure there are some exceptions. Is there a specific card you're worried about?

And which of the bigger drives are you considering?

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I just got a WD 3TB drive and no controller (Intel and nForce) i have was able to recognize the drive. Well they did but only 746GB which is 3TB dec mod 2TB bin ;)

So I had to use the bundles HighPoint RocketRAID 620 HBA which worked like a charm. But using the drive in an external USB enclosure has the same limitations.

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Thanks.

If the LSI SAS1068E and/or cards based on it's chipset (since intel SASUC81 is about the only 1068 card available here) suppots >2TB drives that would save me some headache :) But I've had no luck finding that out with google.

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It's best to just drop LSI a note, they're generally pretty quick to update firmware to support new gear. Let us know what they say.

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So, I mailed LSI and called intel.

They guy at intel that I talked too didn't think there would be any problems. Although since they don't have any >2TB drives in their compatibility list he wouldn't comment on any drives and couldn't say more than that he thought it would work (but that any drive not on the list could have compatibility issues). He said that there was a limit on 2 TB logical drives on old controllers, but if that includes whole arrays I guess it's quite an old issue.

He said that there, if anything, could be a problem with the onboard raid5 but that logical drives should work. I never really convinced myself that he knew what he talked about, it seemed like he assumed that breaking the 2 TB barrier was the same as any other increase in drive capacity so I'm not convinced that he actually knew anything about the specific issue.

LSI (fast mail-support :)) wasn't so optimistic:

If it is an LSI channel card, we do not support 3TB drives. However, it is possible it’s an OEM version, in which case you would have to check with the respective OEM. If you can provide the serial number from the card I can see if I can look it up. Generally it starts with a letter followed by 7 to 9 numbers with no dashes.

Although that answer seems straightforward enough I kind of believe thats the best and only answer I'm going to get from a manufacturer that doesn't have any >2TB drives on their compatibility list (and those doesn't seem to be updated that very often) irregardless of whether it actually can handle >2TB drives.

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I posted this problem in the Nvidia support forum (because it's obviously a nForce problem) but they told me it's just a limitation of the MBR and I should use GPT! Are they even understanding what the problem is? :o

I guess we really have to wait until many people buy these >2.18TB drives and complain that those are not working. I hope that most controllers will recognize them with proper firmware. But I guess this will be an argument for manufactures to push new (compatible) hardware controllers into the market :|

At least there are some controllers who recognize those drives - a list would be great so you can choose your mainboard wisely ;)

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I posted this problem in the Nvidia support forum (because it's obviously a nForce problem) but they told me it's just a limitation of the MBR and I should use GPT! Are they even understanding what the problem is? :o

I guess we really have to wait until many people buy these >2.18TB drives and complain that those are not working. I hope that most controllers will recognize them with proper firmware. But I guess this will be an argument for manufactures to push new (compatible) hardware controllers into the market :|

At least there are some controllers who recognize those drives - a list would be great so you can choose your mainboard wisely ;)

I am using 3TB Hitachi drives RAID-5 on a 9750-24i4e no problems (yet).

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I am using 3TB Hitachi drives RAID-5 on a 9750-24i4e no problems (yet).

Well sure - I would go crazy if my dedicated controller I paid > 1,000$ for would not recognize these drives correctly. Unfortunately you even need a free PCI Express 8x slot for this one, which could lead to other limitations, depending on your mainboard layout.

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So which dual bay / quad bay external enclosures support 3TB+ hard drives? I can't see why there are any issues because 48-bit LBA has been around for a long long time. Guess firmware would be the only possible problem for enclosures and controllers?

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I also contacted Western Digital if they had any success stories they could share but whatever they know they wouldn't share any of it. Though that is understandable, not that easy for a company to comment on other companies products - the intel rep. suggested that I'd give it a try though.

Bummer...

Still haven't found any reasonable priced (for my purposes) hardware that anyone seems to be able to comment on regarding the >2 TB issues.

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I'm using an ASUS Striker 2 extreme mobo (nForce 790i) and recently purchased a Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 3tb drive. I had the same issues as a few others out there, only managing to see 746GB even though its running on 7-64 bit as a data drive. I ordered a Highpoint Rocket 620 card quite cheaply and it now works like a charm. Hope this is of some help.

Edited by bews666

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The Intel 5 and 6 series chipsets support them with the newest Intel RST Drivers (1.10.8?). I have verified this with the P67/H67, it should also work with the P55/X58.

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